Daniel Day-Lewis? Ben Affleck? Denzel Washington? Who made the cut?
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Jamie Foxx - 'Django Unchained'
Pro: Foxx is a former best actor winner receiving his first Academy Award in 2005 for his triumphant work in "Ray." He was also nominated that same year in the best supporting actor category for "Collateral." He also won the Golden Globe, BAFTA, SAG Award and numerous critics' groups honors for "Ray." The role of Django in Quentin Tarantino's latest is arguably the most interesting role he's had since 2009's "The Soloist." Importantly, Tarantino has a fantastic track record with his actors landing Oscar nominations. Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta were all nominated for "Pulp Fiction." Robert Forster was nominated for "Jackie Brown." Christoph Waltz was nominated for and won a best supporting actor for "Inglorious Basterds" just two years ago.
Con: "Django" is a huge unknown. It may be more of a commercial play like "Kill Bill" or it may be another impressive rewrite of history that can bookend "Basterds." Unfortunately, the picture is also being released on Christmas Day which means Academy members will only have a little over a week to see it in theaters before nomination ballots are due right after New Year's. Even with early guild and Academy screenings, that may be too close for comfort.
- Gregory Ellwood